Episode 36 (Part 1) Middle Earth Role-Playing (MERP) (with Liz Danforth)

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Popular demand has insisted that we look at MERP from Iron Crown (1984). In this first part we come to terms with Tolkien and our relationship to Middle Earth.

Thanks to Liz Danforth, Daily Dwarf , Graham Kinniburgh, and Steve Ray for their help in putting this Episode together.

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Author: Dirk

Host of The GROGNARD RPG Files podcast. Talking bobbins about Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, T&T, AD&D and others from back in the day and today.

7 thoughts on “Episode 36 (Part 1) Middle Earth Role-Playing (MERP) (with Liz Danforth)”

  1. Ah the path much travelled… Tolkien. I remember taking the train to Nottingham to pick up the Games Workshop boxed MERP after my beloved Hobby Horse closed

  2. Rolemaster was my system of choice for several years. It was first published as a series of individual supplements that you could use to make parts of your D&D game more colourful and detailed, which seems to match your suggestions.

  3. I loved the MERP supplements, glorious publications, but I was not a fan of the Rulemaster-lite (sic) system.
    So many tables, and the magic seemed totally out of sorts with the books – Middle Earth was a world of fading magic, but in the game everyone had all sorts of wacky ‘spells’. As a whole, the Rolemaster approach didn’t support the doom-laden heroism of the fiction.
    May gave the One Ring a go some year.

    Great to listen to Liz Danforth on her work and career from pretty much the dawn of RPGs.
    The Fantasy Trip was one of my first alternatives to D&D I looked at, and still have a 2nd hand copy I bought in Edinburgh’s Gamesmaster shop on Forrest Road, long since closed down, and turned into something Student-friendly fast-food.

    For Grognards like Dirk who found he LotR daunting to read, I’d recommend listening to the audiobook of the Silmariilion, instead of reading that worthy tome.
    If even that’s too long, check out CGP Gray’s 5 minute explanation – https://youtu.be/YxgsxaFWWHQ
    And his follow-up on the mechanics of making the One Ring and the rest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKU0qDpu3AM&feature=youtu.be

  4. I wonder how many other MERP players tiptoed around the books, in fear that the fantasy police would kick down their door mid game, biscuit still in hand? Or did the majority of people plunder Middle Earth with gay abandonment, pocketing Gollum’s ring before Bilbo even had a chance to open the Goblin Gate supplement?

  5. You need a editor. I listened to hear a review of ICE version of LotR to decide if I wanted to pick up the supplements. Unfortunately I had to wade an hour of trivial banter more tedious than anything Tolkien ever commited to paper before getting to anything remotely resembling one.

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